State Tax Commission of Missouri
v.) Appeal No.08-90001
DEBBIE JAMES, ASSESSOR,)
TEXAS COUNTY, MISSOURI,)
DECISION AND ORDER
Decision of the Texas County Board of Equalization Setting the value for the property under appeal is AFFIRMED.Complainant did not rebut the presumption of correct assessment by the Board. True value in money for the subject property for tax year 2008 is set at $38,461, residential assessed value of $7,310.Complainant appeared pro se.Respondent appeared pro se.
Case heard and decided by Senior Hearing Officer W. B. Tichenor.
The Commission takes this appeal to determine the true value in money for the subject property on January 1, 2007.
Complainant appeals, on the ground of overvaluation, the decision of the Texas County Board of Equalization setting the valuation of the subject property.The Board determined an appraised value of $38,461, assessed value of $7,310, as residential property.Complainant proposed a value of $30,000, assessed value of $5,700.Hearing waived, case submitted on Complainant’s statement of value.
The Hearing Officer, having considered all of the competent evidence upon the whole record, enters the following Decision and Order.
Complainant filed his statement (11/12/08) offering his opinion of fair market value as of January 1, 2007, to be $30,000.He cited to an October 2008 sale of a home for $27,500, another sale in 2008 for $33,000 and the average for his neighborhood being $27 – $35,000.
Respondent filed no documentation as to value, but rested on the presumption of correct assessment by the Board.
FINDINGS OF FACT
1.Jurisdiction over this appeal is proper.Complainant timely appealed to the State Tax Commission from the decision of the Texas County Board of Equalization.
2.The subject property is located at 426 Rogers Ave, Summersville, Missouri.The property is identified by map parcel number 23-6-24-1-2-6.
3.By letter dated October 10, 2008, Complainant requested a continuance of the evidentiary hearing scheduled for October 30, 2008, because he would be out of state until
4.Complainant’s evidence was not substantial and persuasive to rebut the presumption of correct assessment by the Board and establish the true value in money as of January 1, 2007, to be $30,000, as proposed.
CONCLUSIONS OF LAW AND DECISION
The Commission has jurisdiction to hear this appeal and correct any assessment which is shown to be unlawful, unfair, arbitrary or capricious.The hearing officer shall issue a decision and order affirming, modifying or reversing the determination of the board of equalization, and correcting any assessment which is unlawful, unfair, improper, arbitrary, or capricious.
Presumptions In Appeals
There is a presumption of validity, good faith and correctness of assessment by the CountyBoardof Equalization.The presumption of correct assessment is rebutted when the taxpayer presents substantial and persuasive evidence to establish that the Board’s valuation is erroneous and what the fair market value should have been placed on the property.Complainant’s opinion of value and the basis for it did not constitute substantial and persuasive evidence to rebut the presumption of correct assessment by the Board.
Standard for Valuation
Section 137.115, RSMo, requires that property be assessed based upon its true value in money which is defined as the price a property would bring when offered for sale by one willing or desirous to sell and bought by one who is willing or desirous to purchase but who is not compelled to do so.It is the fair market value of the subject property on the valuation date.Market value is the most probable price in terms of money which a property should bring in competitive and open market under all conditions requisite to a fair sale, the buyer and seller, each acting prudently, knowledgeable and assuming the price is not affected by undue stimulus.
Implicit in this definition are the consummation of a sale as of a specific date and the passing of title from seller to buyer under conditions whereby:
1.Buyer and seller are typically motivated.
2.Both parties are well informed and well advised, and both acting in what they consider their own best interests.
3.A reasonable time is allowed for exposure in the open market.
4.Payment is made in cash or its equivalent.
5.Financing, if any, is on terms generally available in the Community at the specified date and typical for the property type in its locale.
Methods of Valuation
Proper methods of valuation and assessment of property are delegated to the Commission.It is within the purview of the Hearing Officer to determine the method of valuation to be adopted in a given case.Missouri courts have approved the comparable sales or market approach, the cost approach and the income approach as recognized methods of arriving at fair market value.An opinion of value based on two sales of unidentified property or an average of an undisclosed number of sales is not a method for arriving at value that is accepted in appeals before the Commission.
Complainant’s Burden of Proof
In order to prevail, Complainant must present an opinion of market value and substantial and persuasive evidence that the proposed value is indicative of the market value of the subject property on January 1, 2007.There is no presumption that the taxpayer’s opinion is correct. The taxpayer in a Commission appeal still bears the burden of proof.The taxpayer is the moving party seeking affirmative relief.Therefore, the Complainant bears the burden of proving the vital elements of the case, i.e., the assessment was “unlawful, unfair, improper, arbitrary or capricious.”
Substantial evidence can be defined as such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion.Persuasive evidence is that evidence which has sufficient weight and probative value to convince the trier of fact.The persuasiveness of evidence does not depend on the quantity or amount thereof but on its effect in inducing belief.
Owner’s Opinion of Value
The owner of property is generally held competent to testify to its reasonable market value. The owner’s opinion is without probative value however, where it is shown to have been based upon improper elements or an improper foundation.Mr. Keeling’s opinion of value is based upon two sales of properties in 2008 and his assertion “The average for our neighborhood is about $27 to $35,000.”This is insufficient information to establish the fair market value of the property under appeal as of January 1, 2007.Such information does not establish the proper elements or the proper foundation to establish value for the subject property.
Complainant failed to meet his burden of proof.The presumption of correct assessment by the Board having not been rebutted the value of $38,461 stands.
The assessed valuation for the subject property as set by the Board of Equalization for Texas County for the subject tax day is AFFIRMED.
The assessed value for the subject property for tax year 2008 is set at $7,310.
Complainant may file with the Commission an application for review of this decision within thirty days of the date set forth in the Certificate of Service for this Decision.The application shall contain specific grounds upon which it is claimed the decision is erroneous.Said application must be addressed to the State Tax Commission of Missouri, P.O. Box 146, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0146, and a copy of said application must be sent to each person at the address listed below in the certificate of service.
The Collector of Texas County, as well as the collectors of all affected political subdivisions therein, shall continue to hold the disputed taxes pending a filing of an Application for Review, unless said taxes have been disbursed pursuant to a court order under the provisions of Section 139.031.8, RSMo.
Any Finding of Fact which is a Conclusion of Law or Decision shall be so deemed.Any Decision which is a Finding of Fact or Conclusion of Law shall be so deemed.
SO ORDERED December 16, 2008.
STATE TAX COMMISSION OFMISSOURI
W. B. Tichenor
Senior Hearing Officer
Certificate of Service
I hereby certify that a copy of the foregoing has been mailed postage prepaid on this 16thday of December, 2008, to:Charles Keeling, P.O. Box 351, Summersville, MO 65571, Complainant; Mike Anderson, Prosecuting Attorney, Texas County Courthouse Annex, 116 E. Main, Houston, MO 65483, Attorney for Respondent; Debbie James, Assessor, 210 N. Grand, Houston, MO 65483; Don Troutman, Clerk, 210 N. Grand, Houston, MO 65483; Tammy Cantrell, Treasurer and ex officio Collector of Revenue, 210 N. Grand, Houston, MO 65483.
Barbara Heller, Legal Coordinator
 Hermel, Inc. v. STC, 564 S.W.2d 888, 895 (Mo. banc 1978); Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Co. v. STC, 436 S.W.2d 650, 656 (Mo. 1968); May Department Stores Co. v. STC, 308 S.W.2d 748, 759 (Mo. 1958).
 Real Estate Appraisal Terminology, Society of Real Estate Appraisers, Revised Edition, 1984; See also, Real Estate Valuation in Litigation, J. D. Eaton, M.A.I., American Institute of Real Estate Appraisers, 1982, pp. 4-5; Property Appraisal and Assessment Administration, International Association of Assessing Officers, 1990, pp. 79-80; Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice, Glossary.
 St. Joe Minerals Corp. v. STC, 854 S.W.2d 526, 529 (App. E.D. 1993); Aspenhof Corp. v. STC, 789 S.W.2d 867, 869 (App. E.D. 1990); Quincy Soybean Company, Inc., v. Lowe, 773 S.W.2d 503, 504 (App. E.D. 1989), citing Del-Mar Redevelopment Corp v. Associated Garages, Inc., 726 S.W.2d 866, 869 (App. E.D. 1987); and State ex rel. State Highway Comm’n v. Southern Dev. Co., 509 S.W.2d 18, 27 (Mo. Div. 2 1974).
 See, Westwood Partnership v. Gogarty, 103 S.W.3d 152 (Mo. App. E.D. 2003); Daly v. P. D. George Co., 77 S.W.3d 645 (Mo. App. E.D. 2002); Reeves v. Snider, 115 S.W.3d 375 (Mo. App. S.D. 2003).Industrial Development Authority of Kansas City v. State Tax Commission of Missouri, 804 S.W.2d 387, 392 (Mo. App. 1991).
 Cohen v. Bushmeyer, 251 S.W.3d 345, (Mo. App. E.D., March 25, 2008); Carmel Energy, Inc. v. Fritter, 827 S.W.2d 780, 783 (Mo. App. W.D. 1992); State, ex rel. Missouri Hwy & Transp. Com’n v. Pracht, 801 S.W.2d 90, 94 (Mo. App. E.D. 1990); Shelby County R-4 School District v. Hermann, 392 S.W.2d 609, 613 (Sup. 1965).